May 7, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - May Week 2

During the month of May, many condiments, sauces and spices go on sale in preparation for summer barbecues and family gatherings. Take advantage of those sales and stock up for the Preparedness Challenge: May Week 2.

1. Clean Out & Inventory Condiments

  • Look in your refrigerator and pull out all the condiments you normally use. 
  • Write down what you use on the inventory list in your binder. 
  • Toss any expired condiments.
  • Clean your refrigerator shelves. 
  • Put useable items back in your refrigerator.
  • Next, take an inventory of unopened condiments in your cupboards.  
  • Pull all condiments out.
  • Wipe down that shelf. 
  • Put items back on your shelf.

2. Buy a 3 to 12 Month Supply of Condiments

  • Be reasonable. No one needs 24 bottles of ketchup on the wall. Personally, I keep one condiment item in the refrigerator and one on the shelf. And more of a few items.
  • Buy items such ketchup, mustard, relish, pickles, mayonnaise, steak sauce, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, salad dressings and vinegar. 
  • I've found my best deals at the grocery store when I combine sales and coupons or when I buy store brand items. However, there are some condiments on sale in the May 8th Sam's Club Savings Book. And Costco has similar deals.
  • Heinz Picnic 4 pack (2 ketchups, 1 relish and 1 mustard) $2.00 off. 
  • Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing 2 pk. 40 oz. ea. $2.00 off. 
  • Best Foods Mayonnaise 3 pk. 25 oz. ea. $2.00 off. 
  • A-1 Steak Sauce 2 pk. 15 oz. ea. $1.00 off
  • Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce 2 pk. 20 oz. ea. $1.00 off
  • Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce 2 pk. 40 oz. ea. $1.00 off
  • And new Heinz MayoChup (known as Fry Sauce in Utah) 2 pk. 19 oz. ea. is $4.98
3. Research The Shelf-Life of Your Condiments
How long condiments last when opened is usually less time than you think. So, take a few minutes to go to the website Enter an item such as mayonnaise in the search box and find out how long is lasts on your shelf and when opened. I may surprise you.

And do you know which foods you should throw away in your refrigerator after a power outage? Go to the website and review the items you should throw away. It may surprise you.

Best wishes on preparing this month,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

May Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

May 3, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - May Week 1

Last month was super busy for me, so I'm excited to share our May Preparedness Challenges. This month we will gather cooking supplies into our 72-hour kits, gather condiments and spices and practice outdoor cooking.

No one ever thinks how they will cook after a disaster, but after a disaster your stove may not work, and you probably won't have power for that microwave oven.

I'm not an expert in this area, so I try to keep it simple by imagining the aftermath of a disaster. Let's pretend my disaster was a major earthquake. After coming out from beneath my kitchen table, and checking on my family members, check on our neighbors. I woudn't even be thinking about food.

After getting people better situated and cared for medically, we realize we haven't eaten in four hours. The refrigerator has been off for a long time, and it's unlikely it will be turned on for weeks. So, how do we prepare food?

Gas ONE New GS-3400P Dual Fuel Portable Propane and Butane Camping and Backpacking Gas Stove Burner with Carrying Case

1. Decide How You Will Cook After a Disaster
Personally, I would not cook anything and eat our small canned foods that require no refrigeration such as PB & honey sandwiches, canned fruit and fresh fruit. Eventually we will have to heat up some stew. One idea is using a simple one-burner gas butane stove. So, we turn it on and heat up our canned stew. Yum! That stew never tasted so good.

Oher options:
  • Small camp stove in our 72-hour bags
  • Propane barbeque with the single burner on the side. 
  • Use firewood and coal last since they would use up valuable fuel that could keep you warm.
How will you boil water and keep it warm? A camping tea kettle is perfect for that. You'll need boiled water for your oatmeal and your hot cocoa tomorrow. You may even need to boil water for medicinal needs. Lots of things to consider with your imagination. Keep your cooking items together to make it simpler to find. Here is a sample, but I'm no expert.

Overmont Camping Kettle

2. Gather Emergency Cooking Supplies
May is a great month to start watching for sales on cooking supplies. Don't feel you have to run out and buy anything.

Possible cooking supply options:
  • camp stove
  • camp stove fuel
  • Dutch oven and supplies
  • Single burner-camp stove
  • matches
  • lighter
72-hour kit Ideas:
  • camping can opener
  • mess kit
  • eating utensils
  • matches or lighter
  • mini stove and fuel
I hope you can decide what cooking items work best for your family.

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

May Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

April 17, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - April Week 2

Making a sanitation cleanup kit and studying emergency toilets is the focus of Preparedness Challenge - April Week 2. As we've observed many disasters over the years, it's apparent that keeping your home well-stocked with sanitation supplies is imperative. Germs and bacteria can kill us.

However, that does not mean you have to go overboard. As we pray for inspiration, the thought comes to be vigilant, but not excessive. We see too much "end of the world" prepping these days, and that is NOT how members of the LDS Church approach preparedness. So, with wisdom and prayer, consider what sanitation supplies you want to gather this week or this month.

1. Make a Sanitation Cleanup Kit
When the LDS Church asks volunteers to go to an area for clean up, they typically send supplies in a cleaning kit to assist in the cleanup, and to protect workers from bacteria and germs. 

Everyday disasters also occur in our lives such as the dreaded overflowing toilet or the flooded basement. Consider what items generally work for you and be grateful you have them for a major disaster when running to the store is NOT an option.

You probably have many of these items already and could keep them grouped together on a shelf so you don't have to run all over your home in search of them. Or keep them in a bucket.
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Rubber gloves (2 pairs)
  • Trash bags (25)
  • Cleaning rags (2)
  • Dust masks (not N95)
  • Bar of soap
  • Liquid dish soap
  • General-purpose cleaner
  • Liquid bleach 64 oz.
  • Powdered cleanser 14 oz.
  • Large sponge
  • Safety goggles
  • Long-handled scrub brush
  • Scrub brushes, iron-shaped (2)
  • Spray bottle (1 quart)
*Information from the LDS Emergency Response Supply Order Form

2. Study Emergency Toilets
In many parts of the world, a flushing toilet is never an option. Here in the U.S. we've been very blessed. However, we should be prepared for times when we can't use the toilet. Knowledge is key. 

This article gives a quick overview of how to make your own portable toilet.

Food Storage Moms You Need to Make Your Own Portable Emergency Toilet

Food Storage Moms

I hope you understand that sanitation is super important after a disaster and find ways to become better prepared.

Best wishes on this week's preparedness challenge,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Preparedness Challenge - April Week 2 printable

April Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2

April 9, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - April Week 1

This month our Preparedness Challenge focuses on gathering pasta and tomato products for food storage, and sanitation supplies for our home supplies and grab and go 72-hour kits. This week we'll gather a 3-month supply of pasta and tomato items. 

We enjoyed an amazing weekend of the LDS General Conference, and with that spiritual boost we can accomplish anything.

Having a category of items to gather keeps it on your mind when you grocery shop throughout the month. I've found this to be the easiest way to gather food storage and emergency supplies.

With the recent flooding in the Midwest, I've decided to add more beef items to my freezer this month too while prices are still low.

1. Decide How Much Pasta and Tomato Products To Store in a 3-month Supply

Look in your pantry and make a list of any tomato or pasta products you already have. These are probably the ones you usually use because most people have extra. 

Do you have enough? Or would having a few more cans be better? 

It may help to think of recipes you cook: spaghetti, sloppy joes, taco soup, pizza, tomato basil soup, Ziti bake, etc. 

Here are some storage tips. Most shelf pasta has a 3-year shelf life, but according to Eat By Date "Dried pasta will last for 1-2 years beyond a 'best by' date." Store in a cool, dry place. Keep package tightly closed.

Canned or jarred tomato products have a a shorter shelf-life than most canned food. They are acidic and have an 18-24 month shelf-life according to Discard all tomato products "from cans or packages that are leaking, rusting, bulging or severely dented."

2. Gather a 3-Month Supply of Pasta and Tomato Products

These are your every day pantry foods, NOT long-term food storage. Here is a sample of items you may want to gather:
• tomato puree
• diced tomatoes
• whole tomatoes
• tomato sauce
• tomato paste
• salsa
• tomato soup
• spaghetti sauce
• spaghetti, angel hair pasta, etc.

Heads up! Check your Smith's Kroger ad. American Beauty pasta goes on sale starting Wednesday for $0.49 a package. My favorite sale of the year!!

I hope this gives you an idea of what to gather this month. These products are a huge part of my food storage, and may be a part of yours as well.

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

Preparedness Challenge - April  2019: Week 1 Printable

April Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2

March 27, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - March Week 4

This week for our Preparedness Challenge, we’ll gather first aid supplies into our grab and go 72-hour kits. Thankfully this won’t take you long to accomplish.

Everyone imagines evacuating in their cars. I imagine going on foot as roads may be too congested with vehicles. From home I imagine going to the LDS church close by, or our larger LDS stake center. Some of you would walk to a school or other community center.

If you had to evacuate quickly, and some family members had minor injuries, you may not have time to use your regular first aid supplies. So, put some useful items in your kit.

Good thing you have some water bottles in your pack from Preparedness Challenge January Week 1, so you can cleanse a wound.

Here are a few ideas for about $6.00 for the dollar store.

1. Gather First Aid Items Into Your Grab and Go Kit
  • $1.00 Bandana. Could be used as a large bandage, head wrap, hand protection, foot wrap, etc.  Find at a dollar store typically in a 2-pk.
  • $1.00 Travel first aid kit with bandages, alcohol wipes and tweezers. Make your own from items you already have at home and perhaps purchase alcohol prep pads at a dollar store.
  • $1.00 Mini Sewing kit. Needle, thread, thimble, safety pins, etc. Find at a dollar store.
  • $1.00 Elastic bandages. Great for supporting a sprained ankle. Find at a dollar store.
  • $1.00 Feminine pads. Besides feminine use, these can also be used ad a wound compression bandage. Find at a dollar store or use some from your own supply.
  • $1.00 Duct tape. Wrap a few yards on a stick or popsicle stick. In an emergency, use it to hold a compression bandage in place. Hopefully you have some around the house.

Put all items in a waterproof Ziploc bag and mark FIRST AID.

If you have several young children, you could adapt the kits. Perhaps yours will have more first aid supplies than theirs, but I plan to put the items above in my 14 year-old's kits as she may need to evacuate if I'm not home.

I’m sure there are other items you thought of, but I hope this basic list gets you started with some lightweight first aid supplies for your kit. I’m excited to work on this myself.

Best wishes on becoming better prepared for emergencies,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

MARCH 2019: Week 4 printable 
March Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

March 20, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - March Week 3

This week for our Preparedness Challenge, we'll be gathering long-term dry beans, peas and legumes. I'd be the first to admit, I'm not an expert on these food items. But I know if the LDS Church leaders encourage us to gather them, they must be important. And so, I gather them.

Here is what I suggest we work on:

1. Inventory Long-Term Dry Beans, Peas or Legumes
If you have long-term dry beans or legumes stored, take an inventory of them.

2. Decide How Much You Want to Store
If you decide you want to store long-term dry beans, peas or legumes, choose an amount you can afford. on the it states: "Where permitted, gradually build a one-year supply of food that can last for a long period of time. Focus on foods such as wheat, rice, pasta, oats, beans, and potatoes that can last 30 years or more when properly packaged and stored in a cool, dry place."
You don't need to store a year's supply all at once. Personally, I only purchase a box of 6 at a time so my food storage doesn't expire at the same time. A general recommendation from BYU article "An Approach to Longer Term Food Storage,",is to store 12 cans per person for a year's supply. Everyone doesn't have room to store a year's supply, so decide what you can do now.

3. Purchase Long-Term Dry Beans or Legumes
The LDS Church sells long-term Black Beans 5.5 lbs., Great Northern (White) Beans 5.3 lbs. and Pinto Beans 5.2 lbs. in #10 cans for $5.50. Each has a 30-year shelf life. They store best at 75 degrees or less. You may purchase them at LDS Home Storage Centers or online at Other food storage companies sell dry kidney beans and dry peas. Feel free to purchase where you want, but the LDS Church prices are amazing. If you would like to store dry beans, gather an amount to try before buying a large amount. What you store is your choice. Gather an amount that works for your family. If the day came when you had nothing else, you will be glad you had some beans.
Currently, the LDS Home Storage Centers have Black Beans on sale for $5.00 a can. And dry refried beans (5-year shelf life) for $5.50 per can.

As you work on a few food storage goals at a time, you can accomplish more than you ever thought possible.

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen                                                       
The Food Storage Organizer  

MARCH 2019: Week 3 printable 

March Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

March 15, 2019

Preparedness Challenge March Week 1: Reader Experience

This week we are working on getting together a supply of canned beans and fish. The challenge comes in preparing a dish with either of those ingredients!

Canned Fish
A couple of weeks ago, I actually decided to branch out and make a dish with canned salmon. I had never tried canned salmon before but found a pasta dish that incorporated it. I picked up some canned salmon during my grocery trip and was really excited to try it!

When it came time to cook the dish, I opened the can and was turned off by how it looked. We never had canned salmon growing up, or really anything more than tuna, so I didn’t know what to expect. My pregnant nose couldn’t handle the fish, and I actually opted to take the fish out of the dish. Pretty sad, I know.

However, I now know that if it came down to using our food storage supply, we probably wouldn’t be too happy with canned salmon. Part of the challenge in collecting food storage is storing foods we would actually eat if we needed to. Cooking a recipe with the collected supplies is a great way to weed out ingredients that might not make the cut for your food supply.

Let’s just say, I’ll be collecting canned tuna for this challenge.

Black Bean Recipe
This week, I was able to cook a dish with black beans that we eat fairly often. These Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos from Cooking Classy are one of our favorites!

Finding a recipe that doesn’t involve meat that my husband will love is a little bit tough. But we all enjoy these yummy tacos.

Good luck!

daughter of The Food Storage Organizer

March 10, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - March Week 2

This week let’s work on our first aid supplies during our Preparedness Challenge. Most of us have some, but we probably haven’t gone through them in a while. Well, this is that week.

1. Clean Out & Resupply First Aid Supplies                                                        
Go through your home and gather all the first aid supplies you can find. They could be in multiple locations. Find a container of two to put those items in. Keeping them in a central location will make it easier to find. I use a tackle box. Read more about it here. Add items you need to your grocery list such as band aids, gauze pads or rolls, medical tape, first aid kit, Neosporin, first aid manual, ice packs, thermometer, ACE bandage, rubbing alcohol, etc. You don’t need to buy these items all at once but making a list will help you gather what you need over time.     
TIP: If you've ever had an injury, hang on to your crutches, splints, wrist guards, knee braces, etc. During a disaster, you may be the only one who has them.   
2. Clean Out & Resupply Medications                                                        
Contact your local pharmacy to find a disposal location near you. Or look at the Walgreen’s website to find out which stores have a disposal kiosk. Walgreen’s takes “prescription medications, ointments & patches; OTC medications, ointments, lotions & liquids; pet medications and Vitamins. Who knew? The closest locations near me are in Bountiful or Layton, Utah.       
Make a list of medications you would like to resupply and add them to your grocery list. In an emergency, many people need some type of pain medication.    
TIP: Keep children's and adult medications in separate containers and out of reach of children. Have a chat with teens about the proper use of medications.                                                                                                                                                                     
I hope I’ve kept it simple enough for you to accomplish. Have a great week!                                                        
Valerie Albrechtsen                                                       
The Food Storage Organizer       

MARCH 2019: Week 2 printable 

March Preparedness Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

March 2, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - March Week 1

During the month of March, our Preparedness Challenges will focus on gathering beans and fish into our food storage, and first aid supplies into our home supplies and Grab and Go Kits.

For those of us who live in Utah, case lot sales begin on March 7th at some of our local stores. So, let's start this challenge by gathering a 3-month food storage supply of beans and fish.

1. How Many Beans and Fish to Gather?
Consider how much you eat now in one month, then multiply that by 3. Consider sandwiches, salads, soups or chili. There are tons of recipes on the internet!

2. Gather a 3-month Supply of Beans and Fish.
There are so many beans on the market today and many of us love to use them. They are an amazing source of protein and other wonderful nutrients. Always rinse canned beans before using.

As far as fish goes, you could store tuna, albacore, salmon, etc. Whatever you use.

A 3-month food storage supply could include small cans of beans, dried beans, legumes and canned fish. I usually buy my 15 oz. beans and tuna at case lot sales. But you can always find deals year-round. And personally, I gather more than a 3-month supply, but you don't have to.

3. Make a Recipe Using Beans or Fish
This week prepare a meal using beans or fish. Save that recipe if it turns out to be a keeper.

Heads up. During our Week 3 challenge, we'll gather long-term dry beans.

I hope you do well with this week's challenge!

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

MARCH 2019: Week 1 printable 

March Challenges
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

Preparedness Challenge February Weeks 3 and 4: Reader Experience

The last two weeks of February were quicker for me to tackle. We were challenged to get a supply of dental toiletries and make sure we have text, emergency apps, and a solar charger for our phones.

1-Month Supply of Dental Toiletries

This challenge came at just the right time for me. Our bathroom storage needed to be reorganized and our toothbrush area definitely needed a good wipe down. Gross!

Before buying supplies, I decided to throw out some items under the bathroom counter and make room for what we’d actually use. did this and I thought it’d be helpful to clean out before adding more supplies.

Then, I went to the dollar store and picked out a number of cheap organizing baskets and bins. This made all the difference when I started loading up the cupboards. I can actually see what we have now, and my husband no longer has to ask me where something is every time he needs it!

We now have a good supply of dental toiletries. It’s funny how even just a tiny supply can bring so much peace of mind. No more running to the store when we’re out of toothpaste. And no more going too many days without flossing just because we don’t have any!

Cell Phone Preparedness

Have a cell phone with text. Check! Not too hard to complete that one.

Next, we were encouraged to download some emergency preparedness apps to our phone. I downloaded the FEMA app and the Red Cross App. I decided these apps wouldn’t be too useful if I didn’t know how to navigate them, so when I get a minute here and there, I’ve been familiarizing myself with them. I’ve actually learned a lot from the FEMA one about emergency preparedness. There’s a blog you can access through the app with real-life experiences of people in disaster situations.

We’ve also been encouraged to purchase a solar phone charger, which I haven’t done yet, but have it on my list to do soon!

daughter of The Food Storage Organizer

See more on these challenges here:
February Week 3
February Week 4

March 1, 2019

Preparedness Challenge Februray Week 2: Reader Experience

This week we were challenged to gather a 3-month supply of breakfast foods and purchase long term oats. Because I’m only gathering a 1-month supply of food, I made some adjustments to fit that goal. For the time being, I won’t be collecting any long term foods.

1-Month Supply of Breakfast Foods

After reading through this challenge, I wasn’t sure where to begin. I decided to start buying some cereal because we eat a lot of that. I knew it would be nice to stock up on it when it came on sale.

Luckily, my mom sent out another email with a ton of helpful information about what a 3-month supply of breakfast food actually looks like. She attached a PDF that includes an example of a 3-month supply of breakfast for 2 people. Because my family currently consists of me, my husband, and our son, I decided to cut the amounts in half and use it for our 1-month supply guideline.

Here are the changes that I made to the document she sent out.

My family doesn’t eat many waffles, so I omitted that group from the sheet and increased the food in other areas. I looked up the prices of the items I could buy from the grocery store and added in those numbers. The only item I ended up purchasing from the LDS Home Storage Center was dry milk pouches. It’s much cheaper there than in the grocery store.

Everything else I need to buy is slightly cheaper at the grocery store, so I’ll go ahead and get them there.

Here are some pictures from my first experience shopping at the LDS Home Storage Center:

Everyone was super helpful, and they even loaded up my car with what I purchased. Check to see if there is a center near you!

I still need to collect a lot of the breakfast food items, but I plan to do that over a few months.

daughter of The Food Storage Organizer

February 28, 2019

Preparedness Challenge February Week 1: Reader Experience

For Preparedness Challenge February Week 1, we had the task to add items to our Grab and Go kits and create a Family Communication Plan and our own a Grab and Go List for an evacuation.

Grab and Go Kit

In each of our kits, we were encouraged to have travel-sized toiletries. At least we can be sure of one thing if we find ourselves in an emergency…we’ll smell good! In a disaster, I’m sure there is much uncertainty, so it would be comforting to at least fee clean. Here’s a pic of our toiletry kits:

Another item of comfort we were challenged to add to our kits is a family picture. This is nice not only for identification purposes, but if your kit is all you can grab, you’ll want that family picture. In the following baggies, I put a picture of our family, a pen, and a small notebook.

This week, I also added permanent markers, city maps, and our communication plan. I have yet to purchase a radio but plan to get one soon!

Family Communication Plan and Grab and Go List

My husband and I worked on these two goals together. We created a Communication Plan we felt we could rely on in an emergency. I printed one for each of us and placed them in our kits.

The Grab and Go List took a little more thought. We wanted to make sure that we weren’t forgetting anything that we’d want to bring in an emergency. We carefully listed the items, their location in our home, and the time we could retrieve them.

One of the things we want to do in the near future is scan our photos. We have a couple of albums that aren’t yet online, so we thought it’d be reasonable to have those online too, instead of having to grab them in an emergency.

Our Grab and Go List is hung up in the closet with our grab and go kits. Hope that helps some of you young families.

daughter of The Food Storage Organizer

Find more on this challenge here:
February Week 1

February 22, 2019

Preparedness Challenge - February Week 4

First, I want to thank all of you who have been following these preparedness challenges. I'm amazed at what you've accomplished! Don't worry if you can't get it all done. I'm not getting it all done, but it's keeping preparedness fresh on my mind.

This week we're going to focus on three goals in emergency communication. The first one will be easy for you; making sure your cell phone has text. Your second goal is to have a solar cell phone charger and your third goal is to put emergency apps on your phone. Let's start with that first goal.

1. Have a Cell Phone with Text
After a major disaster, the ability to call will be very limited as many people will be using the same circuits so, it's best to communicate through text. Sometimes you can communicate through apps such as Twitter or Facebook. It really depends on what is available. So, make sure your phone can text.

In a previous week we talked about having an emergency communication plan. One reminder is to have an out-of-state contact who family members can contact when they can't contact you.

2. Have a Solar Cell Phone Charger
We are extremely dependent on our cell phones, and there are times when the power goes out for extended periods of time. A solar cell phone charger is the answer. Recently in my ward some of us purchased the Max 2-in-1 from LuminAid. I like this charger because it is collapsible, waterproof and provides light. There are many other options for you to choose from.


3. Add Emergency Apps to Your Phone
This is by far the easiest part of this week's challenge. We live in an amazing technical era with first aid knowledge at our fingertips. Whether it's an everyday disaster or a major disaster, we need emergency answers on our phones.

I keep mine in a folder on my cell phone. And who couldn't be without the Savior in a crises?

A few apps I like:


DISASTER HELP: "Receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service for up to five locations nationwide. Learn emergency safety tips for over 20 types of disasters, including earthquakes, fires, hurricanes, tornados and more. Locate open shelters in your area and find disaster recovery centers where you can talk to FEMA in person."

Red Cross Apps

BE PREPARED: Do you know first aid? Or what to do in an earthquake? These apps and more not listed, will help you in an emergency.


BE A LIFESAVER: "Where adopted, PulsePoint Respond empowers everyday citizens to provide life‐saving assistance to victims of sudden cardiac arrest. App users who have indicated they are trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and willing to assist in case of an emergency can be notified if someone nearby is having a cardiac emergency and may require CPR.

If the cardiac emergency is in a public place, the location-aware application will alert users in the vicinity of the need for CPR simultaneous with the dispatch of advanced medical care. The application also directs these potential rescuers to the exact location of the closest Automated External Defibrillator (AED)."

TIP A CRISES: "The SafeUT Crisis Text and Tip Line is a statewide service that provides real-time crisis intervention to youth through texting and a confidential tip program – right from your smartphone." Perhaps your state has one.

I hope you found something you can work on. I sure enjoyed putting this post together for you.

Best wishes,

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer


Check out more preparedness ideas on my Food Storage Organizer Pinterest Page.

Preparedness Challenges

February 20, 2019

Preparedness Challenge January Week 3 and 4: Reader Experience

During the last two weeks of January, we were challenged to gather emergency water storage, and collect a few emergency supplies.
Water Storage
My mom broke down this step to accommodate all circumstances, budgets, and living space. Since we are on a tight budget in a small apartment, our goal was to gather the minimum recommended amount of water per person- 3 gallons/person.

We decided to buy 1-gallon bottles from Walmart. To stay within our weekly grocery budget, I broke down our 12-gallon goal to 3 gallons a week. Each week I stop by the water aisle, pick up three more gallons of water, and store them under our bathroom sink. Here’s what we have so far!

Buy Emergency Items

Two of the items we were encouraged to have on hand are a manual can opener and an emergency prep book. We were gifted a manual can opener at our wedding, so I was able to check that off pretty quick!

As for the emergency prep books, we have yet to purchase one. I plan on borrowing one from my sister after she reads it. Hopefully, I’ll eventually obtain a collection of my own.
Something that I’ve been reading since I don’t own emergency prep books, is my mom’s website. She has tons of information on a variety of emergency preparedness topics for free! I’m grateful to have her website to turn to when I have questions on how to prepare.
Under her Emergency Preparedness tab, she has 59 posts that include simple ideas to be more prepared for all types of emergencies. And no, she’s not paying me to put this plug in. I just think her information is accurate, up to date, and super helpful! Not to mention, it’s always broken down into simple steps that everyone can accomplish one way or another.

Good luck with the challenge!


Go here to read more about Preparedness Challenges
- January Week 3
- January Week 4

February 16, 2019

Preparedness Challenge January Week 2: Reader Experience

During the Preparedness Challenge - January Week 2, we were encouraged to work on three things. First, my mom asked us to go clean out our cupboards of any old food storage. Next, we were asked to buy a 3-month supply of food storage beverages and food. And finally, she challenged us to work towards a 1-month supply of toiletries.

Cleaning Out Food

Luckily, before this week’s challenge, I watched Marie Kondo’s Netflix original, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. The drive to clean out all of my cupboards and organize everything was fresh on my mind. So, I was excited to get going on this challenge.

Because I don’t have a lot of stored food, there wasn’t much to throw out. I used this as an opportunity to reorganize my shelves. My pantry is very small, so the more efficient I use the space, the more items I’ll be able to store.

On the food storage inventory sheets, I wrote down the few shelf stable items we had at the time. Here’s a picture of what I wrote. I added some of the foods I’d like to purchase in the next few months to the lists.

Food Storage Beverages

My mom encouraged us to buy a 3-month supply of food storage beverages that we’d actually drink if the circumstance required. Because of my tight space, I’ve decided to work on a 1-month supply.

For Christmas in 2017, my mom gifted me my very own bag of LDS Hot Cocoa drink mix! At the time, I wasn’t too thrilled, but I’m so grateful I have this now when working on building my own food storage. Because this particular hot chocolate has a shelf-life of two years, we’ll be sure to drink it by the end of this year!

I also bought a small container of Tang drink mix in case we wanted something a little more refreshing in this Arizona heat.

3-Month Supply of Food

As I mentioned before, I’m planning on storing a 1-month supply of food storage, instead of the recommended 3-month supply. At this time in my life, we don’t have the space or budget to store more.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on buying 3 to 4 extra cans of food every time I grocery shop. I try to buy what’s on sale that week and check out the grocery ads to make sure I get the best deals. Each week, we still consume some of the items I’m buying for our supply, but I make sure it’s still increasing.

I haven’t quite figured out what a 1-month supply for us will look like, but once I get a good stash, I'll take inventory and try to figure out how long it could last. So far I have plenty of corn, beans, and diced tomatoes!
1-Month Supply of Toiletries
Along with the extra cans of food each week, I try to grab extra rolls of toilet paper or other toiletries. I almost have a 1-month supply of the items listed to collect.

Buying a few things each week has been super helpful for our small budget. So far I’ve been able to find a space for everything in our little apartment.

After my weekly grocery shopping, I mark down what I’ve purchased, and what I still need. I try to stay organized so I don’t get too overwhelmed by the quantity I need. Here’s a picture of the chart I added to the challenge sheet for this week. It’s where I keep track of the toiletries I have and need.

I should be able to complete our toiletry stash in the next couple of weeks, and then from there it’s just maintaining the supply as we go through the items. I’ve already noticed a feeling of simplicity by having these items on hand and can’t wait to continue gathering our supply!


Go here to read more about Preparedness Challenge - January Week 2


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